Monday, February 18, 2013

What's in a Name?

Flynn Rider (aka Eugene Fitzherbert)
Eugene
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation: YOO-jeen, yoo-JEEN

Meaning & History
English form of the Latin Eugenius, which is derived from the Greek Eugenios, which is taken from the Greek eugenes meaning "well born."  Bearers of this name include several saints and four popes.

This name was not particularly common in the Western Europe during the Middle Ages.  However, it's popularity increased due in part to the fame of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a French-born general who served the Austrian Empire.  A notable, American bearer of this name was the playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953).

*ahem* This is also the given name of Flynn Rider in the Disney movie version of Rapunzel, Tangled.  "Here comes the smolder." =D


Emma
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Pronunciation:  EM-e (English), E-mah (German)

Meaning & History
Originally, this was a short form of many German names that began with the element ermen meaning "whole" or "universal."  It was first introduced to England by Emma of Normandy, who was the wife of both King Ethelred II and later King Canute.  Another bearer was an 11th century Austrian saint, sometimes called Hemma.

After Norman conquest, this name became popular in England.  And later, it was revived in the 18th century perhaps due in part to Matthew Prior's poem 'Henry and Emma' (1709).  Jane Austen also used it as the given name of her main character, Emma Woodhouse, in the 1816 novel 'Emma' .


Dracorex Hogwartsia

Drake
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  DRAYK

Meaning & History

From an English surname derived from the Old Norse given name Draki or the Old English Draca meaning "dragon."

In May 2003, a nearly complete skull and several neck vertebrae was discovered in the Hell Creek formation in Northwest South Dakota, USA, and donated to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. You can read a brief article about it on the Creation Ministry International's (CMI) website here.



Damaris
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Biblical, Biblical Greek
Pronunciation:  DAM-ǝ-ris (English)

Meaning & History
Means "calf" in Greek.  In the New Testament, this is the name of a woman who converted to Christianity through the efforts of Paul, mentioned in Acts 17:34.

---- Hope you enjoyed reading about these names!

Here's my little bit of advice for the day:

For you aspiring writers out there in need of fresh names for brand new characters (or even older characters, whose names you haven't been entirely happy with), I have a solution to your problem!  Drive by or walk through church cemeteries and check out the surnames, both common and unique, to find either a first or last name for your character.  We were driving by a cemetery the other day, and my sister pointed out a couple, that I may use sometime in the future - Gallant and Saylor.  Great surnames for a present day hero or western cowboy, maybe even a fantasy/medieval/sci-fi.  Also, to find the meanings of surnames, check out this site: surname.behindthename.com (a branch of the website Behind the Name).

Another tip you can use:  when watching movies or TV shows, read the credits to find both given names and surnames.  Believe me, this can be done just for fun!  There are so many uniquely weird names out there to give you plenty of ideas, whether you use the ones you find or come up with your own.

Be creative!  For example, one of my character's (in my head, not officially set on paper) name is Kyndela.  My thought process - Kendall to Kindel  to Kyndel to Kyndela, whose nickname is Kyndi.  See! it's not hard.

I've mentioned this before in a previous post, but check out this article on Choosing Names for Your Characters by Jill Williamson from Go Teen Writers.  In it, you'll see tips and tricks for finding the perfect name.  One piece of advice Mrs. Williamson states is to make sure your names are easy to pronounce.  This can be very important.  Do you want to hear a year or two later, after you've published your debut novel, that EVERYONE has been pronouncing your MC's name wrong this whole time??  And it was one you were quite proud of...

If you like a certain name, but get the feeling it could be difficult to say, change a couple letters and/or ask your sisters/friends/strangers what they think.  Don't keep it to yourself!  Outside opinions can be your life-saver, or in this case, a novel-saver.  =]

Again, be creative!

Thanks for reading!

Any requests?

Blessings,
Sarah

Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

2 reflections:

Anonymous said...

Drake is the name of my MC!

I have a request-- Rosalia and Maxmillian.


~Robyn Hoode

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Great! thanks for sharing! =D your names will be featured in the next Name post ;]

Blessings!